Weekly video game releases: 'Final Fantasy XIII', 'God of War III'

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The Independent Tech

Among upcoming video game releases: Final Fantasy XIII and Yakuza 3 are at last released outside of Japan, while God of War III and Command & Conquer 4 loom on the horizon.

Final Fantasy XIII (360, PS3)
Release: North America and Europe, March 9.
The never-ending Final Fantasy's epic role-playing adventure series returns to consoles following a four-year gap since Final Fantasy XII. In a coup for Microsoft, the game is the first to appear on Xbox 360 as well as the PlayStation brand (discounting the online multiplayer of Final Fantasy XI, that is). Said to be not quite up to fans' sky-high expectations, it's still decent fare. In addition to the standard retail version, there are collectors editions and an Xbox 360 console bundle.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99

Yakuza 3 (PS3)
Release: North America, March 9. Europe, March 12.
A roaring success in Japan, much of the Yakuza series' seedy underworld of gangsterism was set within an environment extremely similar to current-day Tokyo. Yakuza 3 was released in Japan a year ago, was given a near-perfect mark by Famitsu magazine, and became the year's second best-selling PS3 game.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (360, PS3)
Release: Europe, March 12. North America, June 2009.
Arc System Works previously presided over the Guilty Gear 2D fighting series and this game is the company's response to losing the franchise rights. BlazBlue was an immediate hit upon its release among fans of traditional 2D martial arts games, especially once the frenzy surrounding Street Fighter IV wore off. It now arrives in Europe ahead of Super Street Fighter IV's global release at the end of April. Collector's Editions and arcade-style controllers are also available.
Price: €59.99

Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight (PC)
Release: North America, March 16. Europe, March 19.
Command & Conquer bad guy and fan favorite Kane returns for the last game in the Tiberian series of C&C real-time strategy games. The world's biggest-selling Real Time Strategy series returns four years after the last major Command & Conquer title was released, but with a difference: gone are the hallmark resource-harvesting elements, with the focus now on safely escorting mining rigs back to base in order to accrue enough ore to manufacture more and more effective futuristic military units.
Price: $49.95 / €49.99

God of War III (PS3)
Release: Europe, March 19. North America, March 16.
The vengeful Kratos returns for a third installment of visceral home console video gaming based on Greek mythology. God of War III is one of the titles that helped convince many PlayStation 3 owners to purchase the console in the first place. The first two, both PlayStation 2 games, have been reissued as the graphically enhanced God of War collection, released in North America in September 2009 and bundled with the European GoW III special edition, along with extra game content, soundtracks, an art book, and postcards. The North American Ultimate Edition is the same, minus GoW I and II, three character costumes, and postcards. The Collector's Edition lacks some of the UTE's fuller features - the prior games, art book, and some of the extra character skins.
Price: €59.99 / $59.99
Collector's Edition: €74.99
Ultimate Edition: $99
Ultimate Trilogy Edition: €149.99

Metro 2033 (PC, 360)
Release: North America, March 16. Europe, March 19.
Based on the Glukhovsky novel of the same name, the game tells the tale of post-apocalypse Muscovites living in the under-city subway system. Already, mutants have threatened to encroach on the metro stations' surviving inhabitants, but as a new more dangerous threat emerges, the player is called into action to investigate those dangerous tunnels. Comparisons to the Ukrainian-developed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games are inevitable, set in the aftermath of a nuclear sunset, based on Russian fiction, and sharing a senior member of development staff, but that in itself is no bad thing considering the impact that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. had in 2007.
Price: $59.99 / €64.99 (360), $49.99 / €49.99 (PC)
Collector's Edition: $59.99 / €59.99 (PC)

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